The Toronto stock market plummeted more than 100 points in initial trading as commodity prices dropped amid reports from China and Europe showing a slowdown in manufacturing.
The S&P/ TSX fell 105 points to 11,654.
The Canadian dollar shed 0.25 of a cent to 97.87 cents U.S.
Wall Street markets were mixed, with the Dow Jones up 10.71 points to 12,835.10, the S&P down 1.6 points to 1,354.1 and the Nasdaq losing 10.98 points to 2,919.47.
The average U.S. rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell this to a record low for the seventh time in eight weeks. Cheap mortgages have helped drive a modest recovery in the weak housing market this year.
Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average on the 30-year loan dropped to 3.66 per cent. That's down from 3.71 per cent last week and the lowest since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s.
August gold dropped sharply, by $33.30 (U.S.) to $1,582.50 an ounce, while July copper lost six cents to $3.33 a pound.
Oil prices hovered around eight-month lows, losing 83 cents to $80.62 (U.S.) a barrel.
European shares turned negative on Thursday after the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said its index of business conditions in the U.S. Mid-Atlantic region fell in June and figures showed U.S. home resales dropped in May.
At 9:08 ET, the FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was down 0.2 per cent at 1,012.41 points after rising to a high of 1,016.91 earlier in the session.